While Chicago offers stunning sights at all hours of the day, the city and the area around it truly come to life at sunset. Whether you’re planning a romantic outing or just want to enjoy a quiet sunset with your family or that special someone, dusk at Chicago offers a wealth of sights to explore. From skyscrapers to forest preserves, the area boasts an assortment of spots where you can bid adieu to the day in style. Check out the following five spots for watching the sun set.
Willis Tower, 103rd Floor
233 S. Wacker Dr.
Chicago, IL 60606
It would be remiss to omit a skyscraper from a list of the best places to see the sun set. Skydeck Chicago, located on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, offers a stunning view of the city, as well as glimpses of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan on clear days. It’s one of the most popular tourist spots in Chicago, and is an exciting way to cap off a day of sightseeing downtown. It’s also a great place to take the kids or to have a romantic night out on the town. If you wish to watch the sunset, it is recommended that you plan to arrive at least 30 minutes earlier. It’s also open until 8 p.m. through March, so you and your group can linger.
440 S. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60605
For those looking for some fine dining while taking in a sunset, consider heading to Everest Restaurant. Located on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, the restaurant offers views of the sunset as it drapes over the city. The restaurant’s menu offers a varied selection that includes rack of lamb, veal medallions and sea bass, and it also has a seasonal tasting menu. And with more than 1,600 wines, Everest Restaurant offers plenty of selection for your next meal as you relax and unwind after a long day.
Wendella Boat Tours
400 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Watching the sunset on land is great, but watching it on a boat is even better. With Wendella Boat Tours, you can get a great look at the city as it gears up for the night. The company offers the Chicago River architecture tour, which lasts 75 minutes and travels all three branches of the Chicago River. The last tour of the day departs at 6 p.m. You can also head out to Lake Michigan with Wendella’s lake and river tour, which lasts 90 minutes. Both tours run through October 27, 2013.
Related: Best Chicago Rooftop Lounges
Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve
Lake County Forest Preserves
Checker Road, west of Arlington Heights Road
Long Grove, IL 60047
If the hustle and bustle of Chicago is too much, then consider heading out to nature and enjoy the sunset in peace and quiet at the Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve. Although it’s located right along Lake Cook Road, you’ll forget you’re so close to rush hour. The preserve offers plenty of what passes for hills to climb while you take in the sunset. If you’d like, you can pack a picnic dinner and enjoy your stay. The forest preserve closes at sunset, so while you can’t linger, you can still watch as the sky changes color.
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
For a more unique way to enjoy the sunset, consider visiting Chicago Botanic Garden. Located right off the Edens Expressway, the garden features quite a few spots to take in the setting sun, including Evening Island and the Japanese Garden. The Crescent, which is near the entrance, offers a stunning view of the fountain at sunset. The garden has plenty of benches so you can cool your heels while taking in the sights, too.
Related: Best Fall Festivals In Chicago
Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.